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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  August 27, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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into his office with a translator and a small policy of other arab students to lecture him about the iran iraq war and why they are wrong but israel. israel turns out to be a very important point in his radicalization. more so than they would have fought. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> coming up next, book tv presents "after words," an hourlong program where we invite a guest hosts to interview authors. this week ronald bishop and his latest book, "more" the vanishing of scale in an over the top nation. in it, the communications professor and former journalist explores what he believes is a tendency in american culture to engage an addictive fanatical and overly passionate behavior. he argues that the media plays a
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big role in promoting the detrimental tendency. he discusses his fury with cultural commentator and author deborah tannen. >> host: >> one of the many impressive aspects of your book is the scope that you cover so many very, very phenomena, so let me just start with this one question. the title of your book is "more." the cover includes a picture of a pig, and among the topics that you cover are multiple births, pressure on women to breast feed, and in general the pressure for intensive parenting. i devoted entirely to your kids testing and the whole field of education and how everything is just now by this testing. athletes and how they are under pressure expected to be
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completely devoted to this metaphor and how people use that and the expression of drug of choice and so many different contexts, the food on television and our our session with on the one hand by adding, bulimia, obesity, anorexia and obsession with home renovation is a whole nother set of tv shows and the home renovation shows. thus read it maybe we should say the threat connecting all of these is the vanishing of scale, so i would like you to start by telling us what you knew about vanishing scale and how it connects to all of these cultural phenomena. >> well, i guess to begin with - what we are seeing in all of those things that connect all of those is the idea of the media's approach to telling stories about those things, about
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multiple births, about helicopter parents and the experience of pro athletes or amateur, the expectation to be devoted to their sport. the idea is quite clear i think in how the media tells these stories that if you are to occupy time or space in the media - in order to become part of what we see every day and read every day and searched every day online, you have to be -- your desire to do something to your achievement has to be over the top, the have to be of a larger scale than is typical or in the example that you raise about sports fans or sports participation. it's not enough to be just a casual fan of the team. can't just go to the games and sit and may be due a wage or two in the body of few souvenirs. it's expected and confirmed by
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the media narrative that you have to be the finger wearing a super fan that attends every tailgate party and by is every last drop of the year the team puts out that follows his or her team diligently, and then as a may be somewhat - offshoot is that if your team does poorly or you feel as though your allegiance hasn't been justified you maintain the act in a very aggressive fashion so we see lots of news stories about fans who go a little bit overboard in their zealousness for their favorite team. i was reminded as you were saying that of the cleveland browns and the bald town which is a section of the fans that attend every game, and in philadelphia where i am from come eagles fans are expected to be very knowledgeable but also very fisa for this and throwing ice balls at the opposing coaches and players who are injured on the field.
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it's sort of this expectation again built on the idea that the media sort of select certain stories or certain narrative elements to present to us that if you are going to capture the attention it has to be thrown over the top behavior of some kind. >> do you feel the representation of the fans who are selling things over the top is that a positive or -- >> certainly behavior is and wonderful, but i think that what happens in going back to the idea of a gate keeping is there are many other fans, and the fans who may be our somewhat energized or are not being as aggressive or are wearing headgear but the folks who engage in a negative behavior and the harassing of refugees and so on and on the air and are occupying space and time is that they are taking that one step
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further. they are not just sort of sitting on their hands and routing for the team. they are engaged in the sort of behavior. it's not a wonderful thing. but it again goes back to the decisions made by folks who work for a television station or network or the newspaper to highlight that behavior and not as the norm per say but something that's -- something that would push them under the cultural map as opposed to someone who is a little more subdued i guess in their allegiance to the team. >> okay, so on the one hand you have to be over the top to get attention, and the attention in itself is the kind of reenforcing of that kind of over the top behavior toward where do you see messages to people and evidence of people getting the messages that they should beat like that in their everyday
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lives? >> well it is always kind of tricky in the research to put a ton of stock and simple linear models of i watched television there for my behavior is impacted. but, i mean i think we can see fairly confident we that, you know, when the agenda model of the communications suggest that it's not so much being taught what to think or what to think about, it puts certain behaviors and ideas sort of on the radar screen and on our agenda so that then we come to see demos as normal and typical behavior that going back again to the sports and civil, we come to think of perhaps every fan has been backed, over and i guess or super aggressive than as it's not a straight linear in pact but those are the only versions of the fan shift that is a word i guess, that we see through all
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of these sources and a widening range of sources to be sure in sports, then come to know, the ideas are the models that are excluded sort of recede. >> could you say something about the other topics that we cover for example pressure on women to vote on the one hand have multiple births and have lots of kids and maybe would say the celebration of having kids and then on the other hand if they have too many of the extent we discussed at length is nadia, "octomom," see something about that and how it plays out. discuss america throughout the history i am aware of has always been the pro country. one of the important roles for a woman is to bear children and
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build a family. a couple of examples of talk about also earlier in the same chapter, the quintuplets in i believe the 40's -- >> host: bourn in the 30's. >> guest: exactly the the height certainly on a scale similar at least if maybe not as intense to the "octomom" and her coverage. and we sort of i guess pigeonhole women in that way. i mean, we celebrate those roles. we celebrate even in what seems to be at times negatively in the case of the "octomom." again, the idea that if a woman has a lot of children at once that is a more sure fire way to capture the media attention and become a part of that overarching narrative of the story of women as told by the media and then a woman, man or
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woman or same-sex couple that decides in the number of children and more decides not to have children at all those folks don't get as much play as the sort of negative word but they don't receive as much attention because it's not as over the top to keep coming back to that phrase. behavior beyond quintuplets were the "octomom" and with a breast feeding and want to make clear that i'm not attacking the science behind breast feeding. there's a lot of science that proves that it's better for a child's health, but again i find fascinating how the women especially celebrities who decide not to breast feed their children and use formula instead are treated, whereas there is a great deal of pressure added by the media for the women to breast feed once they give
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birth. women who make the other decision make another decision are treated poorly. the a simple, one of the examples in the book is the actor and singer jennifer lopez and they made a decision for the reasons that aren't coming to me right now but she decided to bottle feed her children and it's run counter to the science but it's her choice and what i found very interesting was the reaction especially among the chat rooms i visited in preparing that chapter she was called a lot of nasty names, and you know, her sanity was questioned and how dare she. they are not going to live a full life and all of these other really negative comments, but again, you know, with as we said before, not necessarily wanting
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to make a linear connection its that argument occupying a lot of the space was opposed to the well i'm going to bottle feed my child argument it sort of gets marginalized or shove off to the site. >> host: and in terms of hard evidence, the very volume and extremity of remarks like that is in itself evidence of what you're talking about and is over the top and i disapprove. this isn't a good idea but -- spent exactly. that's a great way to put it. i think the -- it's certainly not just a handful of folks on the chat rooms, it's also the commentators and folks who -- exactly. it assumes, it becomes a part of the narrative that we get from that experience that we should even though the evidence is there that it's the right call
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to breast feed your child and as you pointed out quite correctly that if you don't it is almost in a lot of these deferred. as a culture of overreaction like when there was a man who was a sports reporter i forget the name of the city that was a few months ago where he didn't actually attend the baseball game he was assigned to cover come and its -- one of my first assignment as a sports writer and it's not a good thing comes to be a witness and observe -- >> host: ronald reagan was apparently known for doing that, creating the sense of the media in the way that he called the move that he didn't -- that was accepted in the radio which was a pretty common practice. this young man -- i apologize, there was actually him cheering
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for the team he was covering in the press box which had another sort of cultural corps of least in that culture a no-no and he was fired and the sports editor called him i think that might and said you are done and was the first mistake and it was -- it was a great performance on his part, but it just seems as though we have hit a stage culturally and highlighted by the media where everything, every reaction we get to the behavior or comment or anything seems use adjusted before seems to be complete overreaction. >> host: we make everything into a fight. that's a whole other topic. i want to give back to your referring to the quintuplets' because again, one of the things i add my year in your book you talk about these current
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phenomena, but then you always talk about ways in which it's the same and ways in which it's different. in some ways -- it is just a new way of doing something that has happened before. so you do discuss at length the overreaction to the october long and how she was demonized but also how we and many cases women who have many children are glorified but then there was the yanna quintuplets who also became kind of a circus, a media circus around them and it was a big part of my child because i read the book in the press and she said by the dozen which was glorified. now clearly something going on here is a class and you talk about that if you are middle class that's okay but if you are poor or on assistance than anything you do is not okay. it's kind of like our obsession
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that women on welfare should go to work and then at the same time we demonize working mothers who quit work and stay home. so it is a class thing. but could you say a little bit about having a mind sort of in the "octomom" and the quintuplets' what in this is new about the way the media treats cases like this and what is just a new way of doing the same old thing? >> i think in one respect going back to the quintuplets, it was really not -- also the choice was made by their parents to expose them to the circus that you described but it wasn't an informed choice i mean, their parents were poor and it didn't have a lot of education and so when they saw this opportunity to make some money to feed their family, they i don't want to say jumped at it the right word but
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the doctor whose name escapes me right now who organized the site where they were sort of house is almost the carnival attraction condor convinced them to do this, so there wasn't maybe degree of agency there. in at least what the media is reporting constantly had still to this day because she is now apparently ready to box semi professionally, the "octomom" they may turn out to be very media savvy. there was an element that she was just capitalizing on this from the beginning her over-the-top behavior was sort of this attempt to maximize her 15 minutes of fame and that a lot of the discussions centered around her organized attempts to grab attention. duggers, the "19 kids and
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counting" show on the tlc is in the same vein. they seem to be in control of what is going on, whereas with the quintuplets. and even cheaper by the dozen, the story, the book and the movie that has been remade since then a couple of times. while there is that class element one of the major difference is is that "after nas criticized for being at the control of this great media machine whether or not it worked the way she wanted it to is certainly a separate question only she can answer but it differs and i think that is the kiwi that it defers where they were just sort of swept away in this sort of media hype environment. >> host: do you think there was a fundamental difference between them or do you want to say something about the way the media today has come to frame celebrities because it seems to
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me that it's a very common progression. first some person or organization or story gets attention, then it gets more and more and finally there is so much attention and there is a shift and we start demonizing that person for wanting the attention and manipulating the media and the components ruining their lives. well, you ask for it. why did you put yourself out there if you didn't want that kind of attention? so how much of it is part of that aspect of the media and how much is the difference between them? >> guest: that's a great question and something i would like to give more thought to and subsequent work but i think that you're right. i think with the duggers the example that i mentioned in the "19 kids and counting" show, they are very compliant isn't a great word either but they don't ruffle feathers. they go on the today show and they are told when their child comes along everything is hunky
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dory and other house gets bigger and they have more children. but nadya suleman, i think you have hit on something. she certainly some her nose i guess in a way act and the media excess. she tried to control it but i think the one thing that i would say though is that, you know, the media having somewhat limited experience in a couple of media places in the past, once a story is a story and when someone gains that kind of say it doesn't really matter what they do. how they are framed will change, and i think that she insistently from the beginning of her time on the map, the cultural map she has been sort of framed as out of control and what she's doing she already had six children, this is kind of ridiculous how is she going to see them, but whenever she does something she
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could come out with a new line of peanut butter or open a mall. they would go because there is that sort of residue of the "octomom." the quintuplets even though ever so often the only adding a couple that are still alive that periodically pop up in a newspaper, it wasn't, even though it was a complete circus when they were little, it sort of dissipated i guess over time. i think it does go back to also the changes in how in the media demand there's just so much time and so much space to be filled. >> host: then it was the evening news. 24 hours. >> guest: is exactly. and only had even dillinger the merely 60's you had three choices on television and so their authority to make the selections for what they put on the newscasts every night is a
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little more pronounced than today. today you have likened imagine being an editor for cnn or someone who has the website every day coming up with a steady stream of material because the idea being if we don't have something in the public will go so that may be the primary difference that there is just sort of this ongoing insatiable demand. again, about the media models out there for the content and so that just brings itself to the kind of stuff that i talk about in the book. >> host: you almost think maybe there is an element of the kind of psychological transference that they are stuck covering these stories that they themselves know have lost interest and they somehow start turning on the people in the story because why am i stuck
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with you in any way -- >> guest: it would be interesting to read part of it just as a quick expansion on what you are seeing again, this is absolutely not in on anyone who works in the field but there's an element of easiness to it, and again some of the coverage has been well worth done and that kind of thing but it's a lot easier or simpler to find where nadya suleman is and the camera crew and go find her boxing or whatever it is she is doing then maybe it is to do more of and in that piece on the debt crisis for civil but we've just endured in the country that even in the coverage of that it was very much banner versus obama, hero verses dillinger, however you want to explain it
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rather than -- and there were certainly some, but at least in most of the coverage for more in-depth nuanced discussion of whether or not it is actually a crisis or what was going on. >> host: yakima and again, something i wrote about in the book called the argument culture but there's a lot of nervousness because there are so many choices and there is a believe that people will be going off to watch it is a fight in the well and if it's exploring ideas we get to explore ideas here. >> guest: absolutely. >> host: let me go back to something again to this point that is so interesting and what is completely new and what is similar but in a different way, but also by one to start questioning and may be exploring how much is really the media and how much might just be like the other cultural forces. this is what made me think of it.
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you mention and you just did right now that now there is tremendous pressure on the women to breast feed and almost demonization if they don't. in the past, and you do say this, the pressure was the other way. the pressure was on the women had not to breast feed. my mother recalls her very first child, this would have been the late 1930's when my oldest sister was born. when she pulled her doctor that she intended to breast feed the doctor said to her what are you, et a cow? many of the phenomena and forces and pressures that you discuss and describe accurately in the media are really just reverberations of the same kinds of pressures coming in many other circumstances like what your doctors tell you like the obesity for example and the
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doctors and offices are doing the same thing. if you let your child be obese, there's a show about this, telling the kids. >> guest: tlc or one of the channels, yeah. >> host: right. so reminding me about that anecdote from my mother she went ahead and breastfed my sister any way, but it made me think a couple things. one is that there has always been pressured to do one thing or another and very little scale, and you can decide for yourself or it swings from one kind to another. but the other is how much of this really is the media and how much could just be forces that are showing up in other ways and this is just one more manifestation. >> guest: forces is a great word. i think the layers of meaning might also be a way to sort of explain that. again, i don't -- what i am not proposing is that, you know,
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watching the newscast sorry enough newscasts that stressed the importance of breast feeding is an automatic guarantee that someone will do that, but or undertake that behavior but as you point out quite correctly, it's one of several sources of information or social forces at work that the young woman in the situation, your mom or whomever sort of makes use of four tries to gain meaning from is they make the decision. what ii guess find curious and it is kind of a two-part issue is that one of the things i tell my students is you have to look at who the media are allowing to speak basically. who they are giving the time and space to and who isn't getting time and space. that's not an automatic indication that that argument is going to dominate but it's one of - strand having a lot of for
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a - having a lot of cultural time rather than opposed to others, as opposed to back when your mom was having her sister or a counter negative for another line of thinking that was saying breast-feeding is fine and should be encouraged. but one of the of the things i think comes out of the book is that the media also has -- taken some things or eliminate things the media also has a over stated assessment of their own impact. i think that one of the things i've noticed in the past life of working in journalism as the folks who work in the media, reporters and such, think that, you know, we are the window on the world. we are having -- we do have this linear in touch. one of the things i think i mentioned early on is the discussion of this young women and eating disorders and the rising prevalence of eating
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disorders in the same chapter about how all of the leaders around the weight that we seem to be hearing and discussing with the media as one source seems to be extreme, whether it's young women going on the web sites to get tips on how to become anorexic which is a horrible thing to the childhood obesity epidemic to folks decide they're going to lose weight. it's not a private or allegedly purportedly not a private affair. i'm just going to go off and not eat as much and do more exercise with the media's justices it has to be done with a great deal at a boot camp on the biggest losers of that, you know, and then of course all of the folks on shows like that have more severe issues than the average person does. but then again it gets back to a combination i guess of resources and information in the bits of
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information out of which the meaning and peter come not just the media ramming it down our throats. >> host: like to see something else of the topics to cover your for example the house renovation >> guest: i think that we are sliding away from actually finishing. i used an air conditioner put in but, well, i think that having gone -- >> host: maybe this year actually. >> guest: it is a wonderful house, very living place. i think that with, repair the big thing that strikes me is that it's the media, one of the media stocks and trade if that is the right plural is the sort of creating a sense of envy
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where you have to have for the suggestion is, the biggest house, the nicest house, and something that has always diluted to me maybe somebody can explain needs vanity, that is a ton, apparently from the in the world once the vanity and the counter tops and that's fine. but when i was in high school my mom and undertook the renovation of our home in new jersey, and from what i remember about it deutsch was a fairly low-key affair she did a ton of work and made the place look by 1974 or 75 . lots of dhaka and those colors and there is a revealing the and to use a phrase that is really popular or as we hear constantly on those shows and if i remember right we have a sort of neighborhood plea to celebrate a, at our house.
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today every step of that is a very sort of scale, very over the top, there are shows called your crashers and bathroom crashers where unsuspecting customers at home depot and other home improvement stores are basically attack by the hosts of the shows to urge them to let them come and destroy their bathroom and give them the bathroom of their dreams. there was a billboard in philadelphia not long ago for one of those shows who called the black sheep of home improvement programs and i got to thinking the first woman provincial i remember watching with any regularity was bob diyala, quote codicil house," when it was on tv is that in the 70's and early 80's. again, as you point out quite correctly, things are a lot, quite a bit the same, quite a bit different, but it does seem as though every step of the home improvement past be undertaken with great zeal.
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the home depot commercials are just drop everything and be aggressive and come to the store and buy new things and fix the house but it proceeds from the assumption that i'm sure there are lots of folks who need to improve their homes but getting back to the idea that we have to be sort of persuaded that the korean the counter tops that we have are not so great and we have to rush to the home depot and get them and put them in and bringing back my mom's example instead of having a sort of hiding it and making it sort of backstage behavior to borrow the phrase from irving, it's very much out front is an extravaganza for celebration if your house is being crushed it becomes almost in that way so we are almost there with our home. moscow isn't it -- knott your individual reservation but one of the points that you are
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making is maybe there is some interplay between the tv shows and the ubiquity and the fact people are renovating houses now regularly i'm told that it's one of the biggest focus of attention of couples that they will undertake the renovations to a radically because whatever they have doesn't seem good enough. >> guest: i am sure that your experience could be similar but i don't remember that cycle, not being so short -- after mom got done with the house of looked great and then there was another sort of minor renovation a few years later but it's sort of this constant state of repackaging the preparation and the pressure management whenever any of those terms i guess it's a little bit but we constantly
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have to improve the a slight cousin in the help movement and literature, but all of it has to be done very much as performance the show's, one of the ones we watched a lot when it was on was trading spaces and even the show's on ag tv which i guess is the preeminent provider of the shows which are on the air now it's all very introspective and undertaken with a lot of energy and my mom just wanted to get it to don and look nice and impress the neighbors, but it's just sort of this constant sense of i need to improve. >> host: two thoughts come to mind, one is the term that you use extremes that are always thinking of extreme if that is what you were referring to here as well you can just write your house extreme makeover.
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in pressing the neighbors and could it be that what sense of neighbors has expanded because of the constant exposure. >> guest: maybe it has something to do with one of the i think i discussed it briefly at least in the book. we are talking to develop our legacy is and when bill clinton was president and they started to do the research of the funding with the fund-raising for his presidential library before i believe and i hope i of the facts right before he left office after a second term. it always struck me as kind of she's still on the planet and still has a lot of productive years left. why now? it seems to be the common way to go. >> host: journalists talk about the legacy on the first
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day. >> guest: a turnaround because about a half of the people performing in the contemporary music today with my students about called the heineman music where they would talk about the career of the act, very popular act. the beatles, you too, something like that, and the narrative was always kind of the same. touch cretul band, beginnings, they had a lot of success and the temptations, the overcome temptations and they go on to continue their success. but i have noticed and i think that talk about a little bit any way is that it doesn't seem to take as much achievement to get their own behind the music of the sood and this is not at all again a criticism of the music and the band's and tv producers now have done enough to merit the show but it just suggests that we are always the bar has been lower or i'm not sure what the metaphor is but that you can
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have a legacy. it's almost like a chia pet in a way. you can have a legacy instantly. and we talk about this a little bit also in the book about even the way that we treat education and sort of nudging, encouraging , hammering kids to go to the right college that is all not so much anymore about -- and again i don't want to overstate and be guilty of what i'm writing about, but the educational journey or the learning for the sake of learning or all those wonderful things, but it's about, you know, do you want to leave something behind to the world, you want to create your own presidential library rather than, you know, just living your life and see what happens. and the media certainly gives you enough clues along the way about how valid an expression
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that is. i mean, it's -- even a bunch of commercials that i think are still on the air for the frosted me to the coming weeks serial where they sit on the shoulders of the kids and say i'm keeping them fully and focused and they are going to do great this year. it's all sort of in this move to become not necessarily a famous but to leave that sort of cultural legacy behind. >> host: i wanted to ask you about introducing the focus because it really intrigued me. you mentioned focus, zeal, gusto, opposites of scale but we are insisting everything be done with focus in this was a fraiman for me because of the focus of something positive, focus is what gives you inner peace for
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example another writer that i admire talks about flow come and it's a kind of focus which to him he points out is the key to creativity and also a kind of inner happiness kind of like the idea of focusing on peace, so i just wonder what is the way that you are using focus the would be different from that. clearly it is a different sense of it. >> guest: well, i guess the example, one of the first examples is tiger woods, the golfer, aside from his recent struggles, when he came on the scene when he was i think 3-years-old, she was on the segment of the mike douglas show where he showed off his very prodigy galt skills in front of it gives jimmy stewart and bob hope and then he sort of faded from the scene in college and
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the championships and then became one of the greatest golfers of all time. but i think one of the things that apart from his issues recently that we admire about him is that how maybe dedication would have been a better word might have an off the mark but he is into the focus and dedicated golf every time the media prior to this wrote about him it would come a reporter or commentator would mention how leaves are focused he was, words of that nature, about the game of golf. no distractions, just sort of taking the senate buddhism idea and accelerating it did almost where he was just so much in the zone and focused on being the greatest golfer in the world or pleasing his offer, whatever it happened to be. and that is what we as a society
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or the golf fans anywhere purportedly admired about him, the dominance certainly the fact he was just so good at it and thought of as nothing else but it seemed the portrayal of him by the sports writers and such made it seem as though he was golf, golf, all the time, focused on being as good as he possibly could and on a winning a record number of major terms and accomplishment it had to be. whatever happened to be. and i think that the kind of see that with the u.s. participation sports and moving it down a couple where the folks i interact with at drexel when they play sports they are doing that or expected to do that to the exclusion not as academics but they're supposed to be really supremely dedicated to
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that, and i don't know of and is it the same, is it different, i was trying to remember when i was in high school and college as athletes for the same or if the portrayals change necessarily but i think it does represent maybe something culturally where we see that the only way to keep the conditions of the world at bay or to be super successful were to beat the debt crisis or whatever is to be just incredibly on point or dedicated to the craft so that that leads out again, the media portrayal sort of leaving out the fruit. if you are really good at something but are not, you know, physically portraying that as this sense of zeal all the time you don't get a place of the table, you don't get as much exposure which kind of pops up every so often with of the golfers who have had the sort of play in tiger's week over the last until recently when he has had some injury troubles. the coverage would always center on him and go to the others and say what did you think of him
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today? was he focused, was he on his game and the golfers could sort of read on their face like well i would rather talk about my game think you very much, but because the model of the frame was just about his focus. >> host: it sounds like maybe you are using focus in more of a obsessive -- >> guest: that might be -- i think that's true. i think this gets back to the point you raised earlier. >> host: the temporary focus which is what flow and -- its of session that takes over everything else. >> guest: that's the portrayal. that's right and this goes back to the point he made earlier about something else discussed later on which is the coopting of the language of addiction certainly in a lot of the news stories about people hobbies for example, where this is something
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i am working on now that we now describe our hobbies and marriages or whatever in terms that used to be reserved for addictive behavior so we will say for example but i'm just totally addicted to desperate housewives or to stamp collecting rino obsessed with justin bieber or it's not enough it seems the media are suggesting that to say i like baseball or like playing the drums were i really love, you know, stand collecting more birds or whatever it happens to be, the suggestion is out there that you have to say to get a little more space or time to tell your story you have to sort of be over the top and say i'm just as zealous when it ran off to use that word but i am addicted to reading or something like that. >> host: couldn't that be a
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kind of, well, first a verbal inflation we know language works that way and they take on meetings and then they use that word and that sort of moves it and so you get a bigger word but are there people here talking about addiction so i hear you say that you're addicted to reading that sounds kind of need and then i go and not even making the connection to say to somebody on line addicted to the clean house or clean car. some of it could just be the phrases come. >> guest: that could be treated think it is a really good point but i guess the one thing i would say is that means that your work especially on this, too that means that other ways of describing that experience sort of fade away or are less important or just from that inflated word takes up so
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much space where folks use that more often that means they are not using -- whether or not that colors their experience or they go back and the next book they read they are not super zealous. i'm not sure. but i think that when we look at the media content the suggestion is out there that would ever you want to take, whatever, going to school, golf, whatever, that you really have to do it all out and i feel you might be right that may be the obsession is a little closer to the mark in focus although i think that the example with syria that we mentioned earlier is running through my head now, but that it's just it means that that way of describing our lives or, you know, kind of thinking of even weddings or life experiences has pushed all the other ones at least a slight.
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>> host: it says something about our culture that expression is common to see something about the culture. i don't want to miss asking you to comment on perhaps your most shocking claim shocking to some people your opposition to the zero tolerance, and to even mention the air with academics. you question what is now in great favor which we have zero tolerance for plagiarism or a zero tolerance for violence in schools which would seem i think to most people a great thing and i think he makes an interesting points about it. >> guest: thank you. i think first and foremost as far as the tolerance policies where the schools are concerned, there is enough and i talk about
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in the little details that it deserves, but evidence to suggest they don't work. the zero tolerance policies while they do perhaps on a superficial level kind of make -- and goes back to again another idea that barry has talked about the suggestion by the media that the schools are scary places when in fact they are less violent apart from all the steps that the school officials have taken them in the recent years, and the evidence is out there now to suggest that the zero tolerance policies sort of reach more havoc than with students them they are designed to aid in the uniform policies they are the same, during the clinton administration there was a push because of several very well publicized examples. bad examples and tragic examples of the school violence across the items of clothing, sorry, or
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colors or sneakers that schools across the country then decided to put in in uniform policies to stop that violence and again the evidence is pretty clear that they don't come at least the stuff that is included in the book. but what i worry about most the and something talked about before that by suggesting if you are a journalist or a media person by suggesting that that's the way school is, that that's the experience for kids to have to go through a metal detector every morning and then on top of that the new child left behind a sort of pressure of teaching for the test and the learning experience changes that it creates a really tense experience for a student, and again, this may be a tiny bit of romanticizing from someone who wanted to be a little more of a
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participant in the 60's than he was because he was only eight years now, but at the end, it just seems to be almost possibly more damaging to kids than all of the things they are designed to prevent. and as far as the issue about plagiarism is concerned, this is -- you know this, we have had this battle for years that we know kids cheat and we know that kids turn in papers that are not theirs and that the internet has made this an even bigger mess because they cut and paste and it isn't a tribute properly but i worried that especially in terms of how the media treat the questions that we then numbering how your lives as teachers become chasing down and creating, you know, tactics and techniques to stop plagiarism that of an just dealing with it in a more measured fashion.
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and it could be completely wrong and it's just i've been fortunate i haven't run into this too often in my own travels, but it just seems as though -- and i think that one of the folks that i quote in the book appointed herself for plagiarism police and a plagiarism, and that means that she is not devoting and this is an absolutely not a criticism of the teaching i certainly don't know her, but that she is spending all that time so worried about so many good papers to turn in at all these other things that other parts of her experience are changed so that she's the not spending as much time w ith the kids or teaching. but i think it's part and parcel just a larger picture of how the education as portrayed. it's a very tense, very pressure packed experience where the kids have to be on all the time and have to -- visiting if you schools over the years in my travels with drexel where there
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is chanting back with the teacher says and kids walking along in the hallways holding hands rather than -- not that they should be, you know, running around and running the place necessarily but it just is a suggestion that it's a very tense place and the plagiarism fight only ads to that. you know you take the kid aside and say this isn't your work, can we work this out and maybe not bring the traditional council in on it or whatever georgetown's equivalent is to that. and it just makes them what life out of leased speaking for myself it makes the kids and three on the other side, you know -- >> host: i think many academics are going to define that and just quickly for the people that are listening and then the program by which you can put in with the student and it will tell you whether there is anything on the net that they
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could have gotten. >> guest: and the checks for the proper attribution. >> host: i know we could go on for many hours. a few minutes left but we are drawing to the end. so a couple things i do want to ask you about. throughout our discussion today and also throughout your book, there are a lot of lessons to the media, the media suggests and tell us the narrative and the media is such a broad category to the invitation and radio, television, film and internet if it is tv, which tv is it, the networks for the hbo or any of the vermilion that works in a radio or pbs or c-span, if it's radio we are talking about in pr, so do you
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have comments you want to make about distinguishing? >> guest: i hate to the elusive ips but it's kind of all of those components depending on which media you use or another person to gain information and similar services are the closest especially in the coverage of the congress and things like that and giving people information in the fashion it's just congress doing its thing and an interesting journey of weight but it's all of those sources of information and then i think part of what drives the argument is the fact that there are so many. as you were commenting before when you were younger, when i was younger it was a fairly finite universe of forces.
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we have three television networks when i was caribbean the we would get in the morning and the afternoon. that was pretty much. we would see a movie every so often rarely because it was a really expensive proposition i guess. but then again there's just such a constant exposure for all of the devices that we now have with a smart phones and hulu and things but i don't want to go completely over the top and say 24/7 but we could be connected to the media in some ways and some respects all the time. it's a more constant presence in our lives and so again, nothing in this is i hope this began as an indictment of the call to the statement a few years ago the argument for the elimination of television, but just a way to sort of think about, you know, what messages or what narrative's are being suggested
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by that exposure to all of those different expanded ranges of media outlets. >> host: i agree completely with what you are saying and it is even more dramatically in your book but i do want to media and which we have been fretting our comments on is the same and some is new forms of the old but throughout history there has been a sense of panic about the proliferation of the media, and i think of the recent book she's written about the history of the printing press about how the printing press was greeted with utter panic that there was so much information as was going to be out there now and she quotes in 60 a.d. they were worried there were so many books out there that this swarm of books and a shoe was going to continue unchecked according to her, quoting him, it would be a
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disgrace rather than an honor to be in author and i think about our sense of shame by people who are sending out twitter and blogs and we think that they should be ashamed of themselves putting all that stuff out there, and then in the early 19th century there was a similar panic. all these political pamphlets and the society and that a chaotic disarray because of the print out there so i think there is a sense in which i love the fact that you leave out so beautifully all of these forces but there may be a reassurance and realizing that some of it is just happening in her new forms than has been out there. >> guest: >> host: you get two minutes. >> guest: i also think and i don't necessarily want to wander too far in a short time, but those panics especially today
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when we talk about twitter and the new tools at our disposal, part of the narrative is talking about panicked. part of the discussion about how impact of the media is is talking about how in tactfully are and the panic that in sue's command again, this goes back to the addiction discussion and the beginning research is talking about i'm addicted to dysart from, and that can have a couple of leges affects using that word advisedly it just should be that folks take a step back and say okay, you know, it's okay if my son or daughter or whomever spends a little more time on facebook so long as nothing, but that, you know it's sort of used by the media to reinforce the fact that if you are a true citizen of our age, you kw,


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